Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to enter the FIA Formula E Championship for the 2019/20 season – extending the original option agreement to join the electric street racing series in season five.
The Stuttgart-based car manufacturer initially reserved an entry prior to the season-opener in Hong Kong last year, but Mercedes has chosen to extend the option for a further year and commit to race in Formula E for season six – joining the growing list of brands shifting focus to electric.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “Today is a great day as we welcome Mercedes to the Formula E family – adding to the increasing number of manufacturers joining the electric revolution. This shows how much the world is changing, not only in motorsport, but the whole automotive industry. We’re witnessing a transformation that will first change our cities, and then our roads. Formula E is the championship that embodies that change, and together with all our teams and manufacturers we’ll keep pushing for technologies, to have better and more affordable electric cars.”
“I’m very happy to see yet another manufacturer committing to the FIA Formula E Championship,” added FIA President Jean Todt. “Mercedes-Benz has been competing in motorsport since the very beginning, and in joining this newest chapter of racing history – Formula E – it shows that the vision and concept of the championship is aligned with how manufacturers want to develop electric vehicle technologies, and bring these innovations to audiences around the world.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “In motorsport, like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and also explore innovative new projects. With Formula 1 and Formula E, we have achieved exactly this balance. Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture – it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies. Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series. I’m pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season. This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way.”
“Mercedes-Benz will market future battery-powered electric vehicles using the EQ label,” explained Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz. “Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our intelligent battery-powered electric vehicles, as well as giving an emotional spin to our EQ technology brand through motorsport and marketing.”